Even as Israel prepares to defend herself against foes on every side, the IDF's top general says the Jewish state does not wish for all-out conflict. The Times of Israel's Judah Ari Gross says that Israel's enemies don't necessarily want conflict either at this time, but that current developments are making war much more likely:
A senior IDF general on Monday warned that the chances of war were higher than ever for 2018 in light of the battlefield victories in the Syrian civil war by the country’s dictator, Bashar Assad, and his allies Iran and Hezbollah.
“The year 2018 has the potential for escalation [of military conflict], not necessarily because either side wants to initiate it, but because of a gradual deterioration. This has led us to raise the level of preparedness,” Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, head of IDF Operations, told Army Radio in a rare interview.
Assad is close to snuffing out the last pockets of rebel resistance in Idlib and, eventually, in the country’s southwest, along the Israeli and Jordanian borders, which Alon said will provide the Syrian regime’s allies an opportunity to turn their attention to Israel.
“In the northern arena, there is a change coming due to the strategic developments in the Syrian internal fighting. The Iranians and Hezbollah, who are backing [Assad], are getting freed up to start building their power,” he said.
“We are not allowing these things to happen without our involvement. We are acting and will continue to act,” he continued, apparently referring to reported Israeli airstrikes in Syria against Hezbollah and Iranian targets.
Though it has long opposed Iranian entrenchment in the country, Israel has taken an increasingly bellicose tone over the Islamic Republic’s actions there and across the Middle East in recent weeks, especially following a round of aerial clashes earlier this month...